The simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.
Heading for my evening cuppa at India Coffee House I bump into Mayi Gowda and ask him how the opening of his new location went, he smiles and tells me that there is a launch of a book at the new location, would I like to join? Sure why not and we head over. It is a quarter to six and the event was to begin at six, decision time – make small talk and kill 15 minutes or head to ICH, have a quick one and head back (Note to self, nothing in Bangalore starts on time.)
Bump into a customer on the way and ask him if he would like to join for the event, he thanks me for the late heads up and says he could not join, rushed towards the event with a friend of his who was going for the event. Get talking to the lady in red, she says that the author is a friend, a lawyer they studied together and the book is SF (that caught my attention, never heard of the lady before, yes we are clueless booksellers)
On the way up to the third floor in the elevator I was talking about a new pet project which we have and the elevator started making funny sounds, did a jiggle and the lights died. (There was a time when I would have started panicking and thought of writing out my will on a piece of paper, now I am calm thinking if the elevator were to drop like a smelly turd, I would be proud to be carrying half chewed books that I was enjoying – Frank Herbert’s The eyes of Heisenberg and The spirit level by Wilkinson and Pickett). The lady started freaking out mildly and the lights came on but the lift was not moving. I mention that one should stay calm and we will be taken to the nearest floor. The lady said she did not want to be stuck in the elevator for the reading, I smile and ask her to relax. The elevator starts moving again and spews us out on our destined floor.
Say hello to Mayi and a distributor of some publishers based in Bangalore who we have not bought books from in quite some time now. I smile and ask him if he is working at Blossoms he smiles and asks me the same, say I came for the reading. Ask Mayi if I could start sending people to the reading area, they were announcing every 10 minutes that they would be starting in 5 minutes (Bangalore rocks that way, we are cool like that) He smiles and I start sending people from the far side of the store to the reading area (Is it a paternal thing? Is it love – like finding yourself organizing a disorganized book rack whenever you see one? Was it something to be done? Are people like cattle with a constant need to be prodded? Did I just want the damned reading to start so that no further conversation is required?
Bump into an elderly customer while I was sending people over to the reading area, this dude usually pisses me off by saying that some of our second hand books are over priced well fuckity-do-da. The guy asks me if I was trying to cut potential sales from the store – man what a prick – that would be like pissing in the wind, who the fuck would want a splash back? Head to the reading area and sit the fuck down, hoping the gig would start soon.
Catch up on some work emails and decide to go for a cigarette, bump into Samhita Arani who I had just sent an email to regarding some translation work for a literacy project. I tell her that it is really weird that I just sent her the email and I meet her, she smiles and says Synchronicity. We chat for a bit and take our seats they were finally starting.
The reading and Q&A was quite good, Krishna has apparently written some other books which have a fan following, one of her books may be coming to the big screen, the cover of the book was an homage to a Batman cover, she thinks being an academic is a good quiet cover (hah), she believes in rationality and loves sci-fi oh and she can bench press double her weight.While the Q& A was ending I found myself holding a mike which was being passed around and asked her if she could mention any Indian SF writers that she likes she mentions Sumit Basu and Vandana Singh, I felt a little sad that there are so few SF writers from India, a country with over a billion assholes and a handful of SF writers, so sad…
The reading was done and the author cut a cake which was her new book, wow really that was sweet, you get to hear the words of an author, you get to eat a sweet image of her book, you get to speak to the author – a little about love for SF, you get a chance to have your copy of the authors work inscribed, life is peachy, what more could you want besides more time to read books?
Picked up a copy of Misbehaving by Richard H Thaler (how can you walk into Blossoms and not be tempted to indulge in perhaps the best way to indulge? Pay for the books, thank Mayi for such an awesome time and wish him all the best with his new location, if you are in the area do check it out, it is big, it is full of books ergo it is beautiful.
And yes do check out the Immortals by Krishna Udayasankar, from what I heard at the reading the book seems promising.
p.s. Fuck you Amazon and Fuck you FuckKart, indie’s are thriving and you suck ass.